Sassy Living Below the Mason-Dixon Line

My Jewish Christmas

Hanukkah and the holidays have begun!    I was raised Southern Baptist, (with a dose of Episcopalian), in a Jewish neighborhood.  The Barshaws, an elderly Jewish couple, lived across the street when I was barely in elementary school, and they were my adopted grandparents.  Mr. Barshaw owned a deli and small grocery store, and he kept my family is kosher meats and other delicacies.

I could see their front window from my bedroom, and I was always excited when the menorah finally appeared in December.  But, when the blue candles were placed and lit, it was really official.  Eight days of pure joy — opening the front door each morning where a special treat would be waiting (I still have the blue cameo I received the first year.)  Mr. Barshaw would come over during the holidays and bring a basket of food specialties.   Latkes.  Gilt coins.  Brisket.  All delivered with love.

To this day, Christmas (for me) begins with Hanukkah.  And, I always think of the Barshaws, and I celebrate their religion and kindness!



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